LOF Podcast Episode 17: Tony Ricci MS,CSCS,LDN,CSN,CISSN


Talking Points

  • Weight Cutting
  • Walking weight
  • Energy Systems
  • Muscle Fiber Types and which is most beneficial for combat sports
  • Where does nutrition fit in
  • Supplementation
  • Periodization for in camp vs out of camp


For the Fighters Guide to Performance Training Click Here
Fighters Guide: Top 30 Exercises For Fighters Click Here


http://chrisweidman.comTony Ricci and Chris Weidman Training


Tony RicciBio For Anthony Ricci, MS,CSCS,LDN,CSN,CISSN

Tony Ricci, MS, FISSN, CSCS, LDN, CNS is the Sr. Nutritionist for Pfizer Inc and adjunct professor with the Dept of Sports Sciences at Long Island University in Brooklyn NY. He is the founder and director of RICCI –Elite Performance & Nutrition and serves as advisor and International Faculty of the Bangladesh Institute of Sports Science (BISS). Tony is a former competitive Olympic lifter, Mr. Eastern USA bodybuilding champion, and holds Black Belts in multiple combat disciplines. He has trained thousands with objectives ranging from improved fitness to Olympic competition, including professionals in ballet, figure skating, US cycling, modeling, fitness competition, swimming, football, bodybuilding, powerlifitng, baseball, boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts.

Tony holds an MS. in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy and MS. in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. He is an elected member of the American College of Nutrition, Certified Nutrition Specialist, and Licensed Nutritionist in the State of CT. In addition to the CISSN, he holds certifications with NSCA, USAW, US Track & Field and Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Association.


Fellow, Advisory Board – Certified Sports Nutritionist

International Society of Sports Nutrition

January 2011 – Present (5 years)

High Performance Coach/Sports Nutritionist – CEO Founder


August 2012 – Present (3 years 5 months)

Assistant Professor of Sports Sciences

Long Island University Brooklyn Campus

September 2007 – Present (8 years 4 months)

Senior Nutritionist


May 2001 – Present (14 years 8 months)

Head Coach – Vitargo Fight Performance Team


May 2010 – Present (5 years 8 months)United States


RICCI – Elite Performance

August 2007 – Present (8 years 5 months)

Email – Tony@fightshape.net

IG – @FightShape_Ricci

ISSN International Society of Sports Nutrition

Chris Weidman

Chris Weidman Grip TrainingWeidman “The All-American” – born and raised in Long Island New York. The mindset that anything is possible was instilled in Chris from an early age. Excelling in multiple sports, Chris developed a passion for wrestling that would take him to Hofstra University where he would become a 2X Div.1 All-American wrestler.

Chris was then introduced to the world of mixed martial arts shortly after college, re-igniting his competitive spirit and cultivating the start of an amazing rise in the UFC. The road to the top was not an easy one, but with the ingrained belief in his potential, Weidman tackled every challenge with the mentality he was meant to be there.



Heather HardyHeather Hardy Boxing

Trained and managed by Devon Cormack out of the famed Gleason’s Gym, in Brooklyn, NY, the popular and charismatic former Golden Gloves champion Heather “The Heat” Hardy made her professional debut on August 2, 2012, facing the very game and tough Mikayla Nebel, as part of DiBella Entertainment’s “Broadway Boxing” series, held at Roseland Ballroom, in New York City. Facing with adversity almost immediately, Hardy was dropped by a short right hand halfway through the opening round. However, she regrouped, remained composed and put on a boxing clinic, winning every second of the remaining three rounds, en route to winning a unanimous decision after four frames.

heather running

Fan Questions:
Many of These were discussed in the podcast but we will be having Tony back on for a follow up episode after Chris Weidmans title defense at UFC 194 to address the ones we may have missed and discuss the outcome of Chris Algieri, Heather Hardy and Chris Weidman.  You May also find some helpful answers from our Fighter Guide Blog Section. Hope you all enjoy.

Ask him about his thoughts on Nick Cursons whole thing.

For background on it:


Hes raphael dos anjos conditioning coach and recomends against lifting heavy.


This is kind of an obvious question for this sub, but what s&c would he recommend for an average joe who wants to supplement bjj training without much free time? Also, what arre his thoughts on kettlebell training.


I’m curious as to what type of weight lifting/weighted training techniques he pushes for his boxers.

  1. Working around injuries – how do you modify training programs to accommodate the inevitable injuries or “nagging pain” that combat athletes acquire? Not necessarily full-on recovering from surgery, but more dealing with tweaks and problems that could become worse. I’m especially interested in shoulder/upper back injuries and knee injuries, which seem to be the most common.
  2. Progression – how do you measure progression in an athlete, and how fast to you expect progress in non-fight camp (“offseason”) versus camp programs?
  3. Dialing in workload – when you start working with a new client, what’s your approach to figure out what an athlete can handle without negatively affecting other training?

Ask about periodization leading up to a fight.


Tony is a great coach, tons of experience and a nutrition expert. Get all those nutrition questions answered. Pre training, post training, foods to avoid, cutting weight, dropping body fat, high protein vs high carb, meal prep, grocery shopping, etc.

Look forward to hearing it!


How strong is The Chris really? And how does he punch so damn hard?

I would ask him; how to prepare for a tournament, in respects to strength and conditioning, a few months in advance. How does the regiment look like to be at peak-performance at a given date? High-intensity, small/big volumes, interval-training, etc. and how does a week before a fight look like. Thanks beforehand.

-What are some unique challenges you face when creating programs for mixed martial artists as opposed to other athletes?

  • Is there any area you feel the mma community could improve in regards to strength and conditioning?
  • How do you avoid injuries and overtraining when working with professional athletes?

-Does Chris even lift?

What to watch out for after getting back into training after a long time of due to injury.

How do they maintain progression in strength training and conditioning for a fighter. Progression is far more important than exercise selection, if you’re not getting better you’re just maintaining, the exact method would be great to know.

breathing techniques

Ask him “considering that fast and slow twitch muscles dominate sports, what are good workouts to improve a fighters fast twitch muscles”

How to condition as a non professional fighter when you can train 2 hours a day max

How he changes the training when out of camp and in camp and how far out from fight night does he change it

How much does he bench?

I’d like to know if there were any specific lifts Weidman did in his days at Hofstra or even before that were wrestling specific that Tony has stopped Chris from doing. Also were there any really important ones he was missing, whether it be a big one or an accessory. Thanks!

To squat/deadlift/cleans or not? If, say, 6 workouts a week, how many sessions would you recommend that includes them? Low rep or high rep?

Why do many fighters and trainers employ a “traditional” application of boxing training that does not incorporate weight training (read: Olympic lifting) when it is proven to increase explosive power, speed, overall muscle recruitment, proprioception, stamina, agility, flexibility etc? Pisses me off so much. I’ve sparred with guys who are surprised with my power:size ratio and then say its all genetics, not because I can oly-lift good weights.

in the case of boxers who both go to the boxing gym & have S&C sessions, when should each take place? boxing or S&C first? also, what are leg work outs that would benefit a boxer in the ring to be more fluid & elusive?

Why is Weidman so small right now? Is the strategy behind that to avoid the cut altogether? If so what has he done to make sure there is no strength loss?

Ask them what they don’t do and why. You get some really interesting insight when people explain why they avoid what they avoid.

Ask him if he has that 1 special piece of advice. Of course we know there are probanly lots of things he does. But he’ll mention something he enjoys and he’ll start talking about it but it’ll lead to him discussing other things and it’ll open up the conversation for other stuff.

Do you prefer to train athletes in all phases of conditioning (cardio, strength, speed ect) at once, or have periods were the athlete has a greater focus on one of those phases. Also what are your favorite sport-specific exercises for MMA. Thanks

Would definitely be interested to hear what sort of “exercises” (i.e. roadwork, intervals, sparring) he would prioritize for conditioning.

What does he think about power? Nature or nurture? Can you teach power or do you have to be born with it?

What the PED regiment for Chris has been. He looked like he was doing more then just sitting down on his punches in his last fight.

i know the chris’s camp aims to have him peak at fight night…

kind of weird concept but… how does one time the peak? (how do you schedule training so that the peak is fightnight?)

Ask him about Weidman walking around at 193 through this camp.Is it because of the IV ban?

How much Creatine Monohydrate does Weidman eat, and what other acceptable supplements does he take?

How many days a week does Chris lift when and when he does not have a fight scheduled?

Should you do cardio and strength training in conjunction (i.e. mixing the two together, similar to circuit training), or leave the two separate?

And for that matter, should you rest between sets, or keep a rapid fire pace (one after another)?

Also how many chests can Weidman punch holes through

What S&C training exercises are most effective for MMA?

What are the other S&C coaches doing wrong?

What’s his opinion on the threshold between building size/strength and losing mobility/endurance?